Susan Sedenik

posted: 05/15/12
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Susan Sedenik

Name: Susan Sedenik


HSUS "party animal host" and organizer of Animal Advocates of Cleveland, a book club and support group for animal activists; also, organizer of the vegetarian Meet Up Group, which promotes animal-friendly activities and events as well as enjoys cruelty-free food.

Years volunteering:

Over one and a half years

The scope of my volunteer work:

I help fundraise for the HSUS/HSLF by being a "party animal" host several times a year. These parties help raise money for the legislative branch of the HSUS so that they can help pass more humane laws in our country. I am also involved with several local groups in the Cleveland area, doing advocacy work by bringing in speakers to the area, setting up a table at local events, and things on my own like writing letters to the newspaper and my legislators. I have rescued a few animals in the past as well.

My first pet was:

Dog (Springer Spaniel) named Maggie. My favorite pets/kids are my dogs Bilbo, Gabbie and Cooper.

The animal I am most like is:

A cat, because I am independent and quiet and determined. But I am playful and social, too. I've even had catnip tea once!

The animal I would take to:

- The Oscars: I would take a fox to remind people that fur belongs on animals and not as garments on people.

- Meet my parents: I think I would bring a pig and a chicken. Once they could see how smart and lovable they are, they might decide not to eat them anymore!

- To the movies: I would take a cow to the mooooovies. They are so cute!

- On a trip around the world: I would take chimps so that I could educate people along the way that they should never be used in research labs.

My inspiration:

I get inspired by ordinary, everyday people who work to help animals and make a difference in their community. Also, books like Empty Cages by Tom Regan and quotes like the following, which is a favorite of mine:

Hear our prayer ... for animals that are overworked, underfed, and cruelly treated; for all wistful creatures in captivity that beat their wings against bars; for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry; for all that must be put to death.... And for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words.

~ Albert Schweitzer ~

The most rewarding aspect of volunteering is:

Seeing people have a change of heart or altering their way of thinking when it comes to animals and how we treat them. It's great to see people believe that they CAN make a difference in making this world kinder and gentler for animals.

The most challenging:

Since I work with people mostly and not the animals directly, it is challenging to hear how folks feel hopeless and pessimistic about the future, which leads to inaction. Trying to get people turned around to the fact that they, in fact, can make a better world for ALL animals is very hard sometimes.

The moment I knew it was all worth it:

Whenever I attend conferences or gatherings of animal lovers and I see that change is happening - I know it's all worth it.

In a perfect world:

Everyone would be vegan and animals would have the right to live and enjoy their lives as nature intended. Cruelty to animals would be a first-degree felony, hunting would be outlawed, circuses with animals would be illegal, etc.

In my world:

Things are not perfect, but I think we as a society have a moral duty to work for change that will benefit not only the animals but people as well. In my world I will continue to try and educate my community and legislators that "animal rights" is a top priority in the world.

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